Friday, April 23, 2010

Are you mad yet?

As we reported earlier, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will cut all operating funding for the bicycle program at their April 27 Board meeting. While the Board claims there will still be $5,000,000 for bicycle facilities, that amount, which is spread over 5 years, is now about $1,250,000 due to decreases in the Commercial & Industrial tax revenues. Spread 5 years, that's about $250,000 per year, to build about a little over 1 mile of paved trail or a fraction of the cost of the short stretch of bike lanes recently installed on Gallows Road (when cost of planning and design are included). In a county with over 1,000,000 people, that's a pathetic amount of money for building bicycle infrastructure at a time when more people are riding and more want to ride if there the county were a better place to bike.

County cyclists should be outraged. First Supervisor Cook claims that bicycling is not a form of transportation. Then Supervisor Herrity suggested cutting the bike coordinator position. The position remains, despite strong arguments for eliminating the position during the budget mark-up, but there will be no operating funds. What will cyclists do to protest these cuts? Ideas? Do we have a critical mass of cyclists out there who are upset about these cuts?

Update: The Commercial & Industrial tax may now be in jeopardy. A company is suing Fairfax Co, claiming the tax should include residential property.

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